[EDITORIALS]Security slip at spy agencyWho could have ever imagined seeing a photograph of 22 of the highest-ranking National Intelligence Service officials posted on the Internet? The supposedly confidential photo was published on an Internet news site. The absurd incident shows that the Blue House’s chronic lack of security is truly serious and the NIS is suffering a disciplinary problem.
The incident cannot be seen as an unfortunate mistake. First of all, the explanation of how Oh My News obtained the confidential photo from The Blue House is unconvincing. The Blue House claims it provided the photo at the request of Oh My News, but how could a presidential photographer leak security-related material without going through some kind of internal review process? It was learned later that the NIS officials reportedly had objected to being photographed at that time. The photographer took the picture anyway.
Due to the secretive nature of intelligence gathering and to guarantee the safety of personnel, the National Intelligence Service has an internal security code that keeps the photos and titles of its officials confidential, aside from a few top administrative officials, including its director and deputy-directors. The National Intelligence Service should have pointed that picture-taking was strictly forbidden. What will the National Intelligence Service do with the officials now that their identities are exposed?
What is more disappointing is that the National Intelligence Service discovered the photo posted on the Oh My News Web site after it was there 40 hours. According to Oh My News, they were not given any instruction regarding confidentiality and the National Intelligence Service never asked that the photo be removed. We cannot but worry about the slack discipline at the intelligence agency for failing to check cyberspace, the information treasure chest and the publicity playground for countries around the world, including North Korea.
Hopefully, the government has learned from this fiasco and will reexamine the security systems and discipline of its agencies before it is too late.